tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN February 24, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EST
coming up, we will go to the conference of mayors where republicans are guests are attending in d.c. today. we will take you to that event. also we go to the palestine center for a panel discussion called "uprising from the middle east." later this afternoon on c-span, but nasa, the launch of space shuttle discovery. we will look at around 4:30 this afternoon. it is scheduled to begin an 11- day mission to the international space station with the they launch at 4:50 eastern time today. thanks for being with us. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
>> just a bit more on our programming today here on c-span. former governor mike huckabee's new book, "a simple government, 12 things we really need from washington" he'll speak about it at the national press club. we'll have his commints live. at 1:00 p.m. a discussion from the palestine center on political unrest in the middle east. this is the associated press report that israel's prime minister says his country won't tolerate the bombardment of its citizens. and warning the hamas rulers not to test his resolve. that discussion coming up at 1:00 p.m. on c-span. another discussion from yesterday now on the political unrest in the middle east. the newly appointed governor of tunisia's central bank. the leader of that country was forced to leave last month following widespread protests. yesterday the international
monetary fund middle east and central asia professors talked about some of the reasons behind the conflicts. they also discussed the potential economic impact on the region's economy from the carnegie foundation, this is an hour and a half. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. and thank you very much for joining us. today. this discussion of the economic die mentions -- dimensions of unrest in the arab world featuring mufassa who has just been appointed, perhaps a little over a month ago, as the new governor of the central bank of tunisia. and also joining discussion is massoud ack head, director of the -- ahmed, who is director of the middle east and central asia
region. the international monetary fund. you have their bios with you. so i'm not going to say very much except on a personal note that these are two friends of mine of quite long vintage now for many years at the world bank. also that i have the greatest respect for them. in terms -- in all respects, but in terms of -- you really want to stop here, i think. >> i'm an economist. especially in terms of the superb understanding of the region. of the middle east and north
africa. very few people in the world have the expertise, knowledge, that the two gentlemen on my right have on the middle east and north africa. which does not mean that they get it right. because a little under two months ago massoud and i were on this panel discussing the prospects for the middle east and north africa, and my conclusion at the end of it was, well, it just sounds like it's going to be business as usual for many years to come. so therefore please treat anything you hear, especially from me today, with a great pinch of salt. but again, let me welcome you. let me begin, we'll structure it this way. i will ask a series of questions . i'm going to start with tunisia.
then i'm going to move to the region. and then i'm going to move to the world. the implications for the world. and i have a series of questions and i'm going to alternate between our two panelists here. and then we hope to have about half an hour at the end of this for questions and answers from the audience. we will get there but i felt given the complexity of the subject that we -- it's best to start in a structured way. so let me kick off, then, with the first question. 8 -- which is, what happened in tunisia? why? why now? and not 10 years ago? >> ok. i think it's going to be for many years and the case to come
that the people are going to try to answer this question. and i don't know whether there would ever be a good answer to that. let me try to give you my answer, which is -- i have been thinking about this question a long time. and since i don't have time to make my argument, let me just summarize it very quickly. i think there are three ingredients which came together recently and which were not present in the past on the intensity that has been present recently. the first ingredient is the laten and increasingly strong corruption. the corruption of the system has reached unprecedented levels. corruption has been there for some time. at least 15 years. but the level has reached recently was unprecedented.
blatant and became more known. and the media, the knowledge was becoming much much more prevalent. and the corruption, the impact of the corruption was felt essentially in the sense of of unfairness. it has created a sense of unfairness. people were getting rich. were getting extravagantly wealthy. and those are signs this was not fair. so the sense of unfairness became deeply ingrained in the population of the people. and that's really the first thing that has not reached that level before. it has been there for a long time, but the intensity of it, the strength of it is -- was not there. the second ingredient which
contributed is the employment, education nexus. we know we have known for a long time that this was a problem. unemployment was high, has been high in the middle east for a long time. we are in this demographic transition and demographic bulge and the increase in the labor force was very high. and we have discuss it for the last 10 years. but what happened in tunisia that the strength of the high university educated people becoming unemployed has reached level which has not -- which were not seen before. the level of unemployment with the young, education, males and females became so high. and the things that people did not see prospect for this improving in the future. and i know people who are asking, i have been asking myself, whether the recent
crisis and impact of the global crisis on tunisia was considerable. i think it was in some sense considerable because tunisia has seen its growth rate slow down by 1.5 to two points of growth. and i'm sure that what this did is that so that the prospects are not there anymore. when it was growing .5% to 5%, at least people were saying something happening. when growth drops to 3.5%, you don't see the prospects anymore and things are looking gloomy. this sense of lack of prospect, lack of future, lack of hope became so high and so strong then it was added to this sense of fairness became very strong. the third thing, third ingredient to my mind that came to be seen as important is the prevalence of modern technology. modern technology in tunisia was pushed very late, the
introduction of the cell phone, internet, theme has pushed down growth. it took many years for the regime to allow internet to be introduced, to allow cell phones to be introduced. so more recently it became very -- tunisia has reached more than 100% cell phone rates. i don't know the number, but it's almost 100%. and the internet access, facebook access became very, very -- i think this prevalence of the modernend technology has contributed a lot to the success. it was not considered the starting of the events but the implications it was really through this modern technology. so i know there has been this whole debate about whether modern technology was the cause. it's not the cause, it was a big consider in facilitating the implementation of the process because what it did exactly is essentially is that when
technology did introduce the cost of collective action for people to organize and act on something. and the cost became essentially zero. and this facilitated the process of spreading the information and agreeing on actions and sharing this action and moving on. so i think these ingredients have never been there in such intensity and such clear way as recently. now, did they explain it happened on the 17th of december 2010? probably not. it took some singular event, unexpected event to ignite the spark which really then made the explosion. the explosive mix was there and this spark was the thing that made this explode. >> thank you. so corruption, unemployment,
technology. unfortunately these factors are present in other places in the middle east. we'll come back to the border region. first let me ask, massoud, if he has any further elaboration on the two nearbyian situation. >> i think the first thing you should say, that i would like to say is in addition to the fact that the three of us have been friends for a long time, you look around this room you sort of see the community of mustapha's fan club and friends from many, many years. i'm sure they all have a sperspective which we'll get to. -- have a perspective which we'll get to. on tunisia, a sense of it, these three things were there. i think that's a pretty good way of organizing the framework. very hard to say exactly when the combination of them gets to a point which is a tipping point. we were here two months ago.
i don't think -- we identified some of these things. we talked about unemployment, etc. but we couldn't say then this is x number of weeks away from a spark. and this particular case, one event triggers a broader thing that gets magnified. what about another spark which is food and fuel prices? commodity prices? i'm not sure in my own mind that in tunisia's case high food prices or high fuel prices were a big part of the trigger. that's my take on it. but in other countries food and fuel prices have been the proximate trigger in some cases for people to react. so we have come back to this maybe when we talk about the region. it's interesting for me that you didn't include food and fuel price increase at all in your trigger. and maybe that's because in the scheme of things in tunisia they weren't that big.
>> i don't think i have thought about this issue -- i have thought about this issue and i don't think food or fuel prices have been a factor or the rest of the region as well. in egypt i don't think there -- the fact of the matter there has been no proceeding this event, there was no major changes in food prices or fuel prices in tunisia or egypt. something happened in algeria, true. but you see -- that's why the outcome was completely different because the spark was done and the reaction was different, and the response was different and they did not take the same route. so my sense is that this -- the whole event, this collapse of regimes cannot be -- was not -- the price of food and fuel was not part of it. i mean there was certainty, there was certainty and understands the cost of living
was increasing. people were sensing the pressure and so on. but i don't think it's -- when you see the slogans, i followed very closely what people were saying and what people were talking about during this event. and i have not seen a single time, people talking about food prices or energy prices. i haven't seen that. on the other hand, people are talking about corruption. transparency. about this and other of those things. it was clear. it was there, center stage. >> let me ask, what is the economic situation you are confronting in tunisia right now? how is economic governance being handled? what economic risks do you see in the short term? >> i think the -- in terms of the economic risks for now, i think the major risks we have been able to control in terms of the short-term issues. short-term issues are the
external balances. the financial -- the reserves, and i think we are -- we have not seen any run on the curn. the currency is stable. the foreign transactions continue. almost normally. so we don't have immediate pressures on the external accounts. we don't have major, immediate pressures on the fiscal accounts, either. the major challenge that we have now is social pressures. people with the opening up of the political system and so on. there's a lot of pressure in terms of trying to cut shut with the passing terms of wages, in terms of jobs, in terms -- there's lots of -- and this creates risks on the economy. because one thinking now as we
speak, most of the economy is back to work. the tourism has not returned. with some of the limitations because there has been some damage, some property was damaged. some factories are not funging anymore. export has been reduced in some sense. but you see a lot of factories working and exports continuing and so on. however the lack of the return to social peace, if you like, which is normal, it would be surprising this would not happen, this is putting a damper on the profits for exports over the next few months. and so the major risk i see is that in three months or four months if the production doesn't come back to normal employment doesn't come back, then we might face external presh sure on the
external side. deshdesh pressure on the e. ternal side -- pressure on the external side. it will impact fiscal accounts, fiscal revenue, and so on. we have pressures on the expenditure side. we might be squeezed between the expenditure side and squeeze on the income side and then -- now, the good news that fortunately we have some buffers. the debt situation is reasonable. we don't have high debt. either domestic or external debt. we have until now reasonable level of reserves. so we have we can hold for a few months. but the main risk is that if we don't return back to work, that's what i have been saying, and i have been talking to the media, really have to go back to work and to start -- and production and exports and things so that we don't fall
into any of this risks because the worst that could happen, i hope it doesn't, is that this economic tension develop at the same time we would be having elections. if we are having elections in three months or four months or six months or whatever, and if at that time the economic situation is tense, then we might be in a bad situation. what we need to avoid is to have the elections taking place outside economic pressures. that's the big risk. >> masood, do you want to add in? >> i agreele with broad outlook mustapha laid out. i would add one point to it. which is in some ways it would be surprising if we had all this change and transition and you didn't see in the short term
some effect on the level of economic activity. some effect on the level of tourism. so right now tourism is down. my sense is, it will be a few weeks, few months before tourists decide to come back. it depends a bit on how quickly they sense that there is a restoration of not just political stability but the comfort level for them to return. slow down foreign investment. takes time for it to come back. all that will work its way through the economy and then on the numbers. now, the numbers as such you start from a strong -- microeconomy in tunisia has been pretty prudently managed. you start from a strong base. you can afford to go through a period when you see some slowdown and work its way through. one thing we should not be is surprised if these negative short-term impacts work their
way through the system. we should expect them. when they happen we should recognize this is the result of events that have already happened in some ways working their way through. the second thing i think is also important to recognize is that on the government's own side, as mustapha was saying, you start from a relatively smallnies cal -- small fiscal deficit, fiscal situation quite tightly managed, so there will probably be some pressure to spend. there's probably going to be some lower revenues because economic activity goes down. you'll see widening on the fiscal side. again wouldn't surprise if that happened. it would surprise me if it didn't happen. the question because is it manageable? if you look at the numbers, the main point i take away looking at my colleagues some of whom sitting here have been looking at some of the numbers, given where you start from, give the range of pressures, a broad range is still manageable.
i think that's what i take away. so i don't -- i'm not so focused on the fact that things are going to be slightly worse this year than last year. that's almost inevitable. i'm more focused on the fact that broad range of scenarios of things that could happen still remain manageable. i think that's key for me. >> it's manageable is that when you look at the risks, the initial risk we had was the security situation. return to security of people and property. i think we have gone a long way. security has by and large come back to almost normal level. so that risk has been controlled. and we are back. the second risk was the social front. on the social front. pressures for all kinds of things. and this we are on the way deal with that. this is kind of it's course. something to expect. taking its course. my sense in the next few weeks this will be more or less
controlled. the third risk is one i was talking about, political. now that security is back. social problems are -- people are going to turn to politics. because that's where the game is going to be in the next few months. so people are going to be focusing on the politics and the elections and things like that. and that's where the next risk is going to lie. that's why my own view is that that's why we want to make sure that the -- there is no development of a negative loop between the economic and political risk. >> let me pick you up on that point. in the longer term, beyond this condition over the next three to six months, do you see the transition as a risk to deepening market reforms? do you see the possibility that we go back on the market reforms that apparently have served tunisia quite well over many
years? or do you see even the opposite, that the process of democratization should make it succeed? will enable more market reforms in the future. where are we there? >> that's a picky one. let me say about market reforms. that's what we need to keep in mind. a lot of the -- a lot taking place was taking place on the basis of market reforms and taking advantage -- doing market reforms which were for the benefit of some. they were not really market reforms as the way we think of them in the good sense. so there's no doubt that market reforms, some market reforms have had a bad name.
and then it's going -- it's not going to be easy to go back to market reforms. so we have to be expecting that. we have to build again the trust in market reforms. then we have to develop market reforms which are really for the benefit of society as a whole not for the benefit of the few. so whether it's about privatization or giving noncompetitive bidding, and all kinds of things that were happening and that were -- people benefiting. so there's no doubt that there's going to be a questioning of the market reforms and making sure that the market reforms are really have social benefits but are widespread. so in a sense the answer is going to be slow down in market reforms. i'm not sure it's bad. i don't think that going full speed just market reforms for market reforms if they are not
really bring public welfare is improved. or something you want to do anyway. >> masood, do you agree? do you athink -- do you think world bank's market reforms facilitated -- >> i'll give you my. i think that -- that's where we should start from which is contestibility in markets is the other half of contestibility in the political front. two parts of the opening up of the economic and political space are about contestibility. at the market reforms -- to be sustainable have to be reforms that people see the benefits flowing to the -- fairly and in a transparent way. and what -- if you have
noncompetitive, noncontestible privatization of state assets, that's not really market reform in any sense of market reforms that we would sit here and define them. it may well be what is recommended. i think the question we get, i take away from this, is that we really have to focus much more on how things are done rather than simply saying this is the objective and this is the right direction and then hoping it will work out. they can be captured. the economic reform process can be captured just as much as other kinds of reforms can be captured in the interest of a few. i will say it's inclusive, transparent, contestable market-based reforms which will then bring brooder acceptance. without it it's not going to be -- broader acceptance. without it it's not going to be feasible. >> mustapha, does tunisia need
help today? what kind of help does tunisia need if any from the e.u., united states, i.m.f., and world bank? >> three weeks ago, three weeks ago i asked this question and i said at that time, that point in time, please do not do any harm at this stage. the first thing. don't do harm. i thought there were some things on the international community were doing harm at that point in time. they think agencies will downgrade your debt just the next day. everybody was looking for is not helpful. it does not -- it's not good. it increases not only the cost of your debt but increase also the cost of your even trade finance. the second -- so i want and i
still want to make sure that investment -- international bank and international institutions and trade keep funding and financing trade in usual way. so the first thing just do no harm. >> just continue. >> in the next phase as we were discussing earlier, we are going to have a phase next few months, where probably our financing needs are going to be higher. both for the external financing as well as the budget financing. so we are going to need financing and we are working with world bank and i.m.f. and other part of african development bank and european union, and so on. so we expect to have support that is higher than the normal. that you have. and as masood said, it's
something that is expected that should be dealt with and we hope to do that. we are organizing a conference by the end of march, early april, it's not a donor conference. we like to call it international conference for tunisia where we are going to talk about political forum as well as private sector role and as well as public sector contribution. that's where we are now. to mobilize. it's not really only donor funding as such. international. but expecting of the private sector to come in. and investment to come in. to create the jobs and to pay the capacity to produce. and to develop the capacity of the country. and also we expect the support for the enforcement of the political institutions, the political system. so there's lots of needs at that
level as well going from organizing elections which are transparent and so on to helping political competition takes place, helping the media to develop in a way that is effective and also responsible in some way. there are lots of needs in the way -- and we are working with all our partners. >> great. thank you. let's widen it now to the region. and let me ask masood the question, we talked about corruption, unemployment, and technology as the three factors that came together in tunisia. clearly these factors are present to more or less similar degree in other parts of the region. how do you see, masood, the situation in the rest of the region? are the same issues present today in egypt, in libya?
how do you see the picture? >> so, i think what is very clear even if you look at the two countries where there have been kind of most social unrest before libya, egypt and tunisia, it's quite clear that even if those two there are as many differences as there are similarities. i think it's important not to take the view that there is kind of some standard model of problem or solution that's going to go around the region. but having said that, what is the common theme and common responses? one common theme i think is this sense of disillusionment and hopelessness among young people who are coming out of universities and colleges and schools and not being able to find a job. in october when we did our last regional outlook, we tried to put together some stuff on youth unemployment and the numbers are
staggering in the country. less than half young people are actually working. because many of them are unemployed and many more are not in the labor force. this clearly that issue there, which is in many countries across the region. then you look at the issue of the fact that a sense that opportunity for enterprises, small businesses to create employment, to create businesses , their access to finance, their access to the way rules are applied, to dispute resolution are all very unevenly applied. you have to be connected to be able to get the right kind of thing. that's another source. so those issues are there. but the ear thing -- other thing that happened already in some ways is that governments across the region have responded in fact by stepping up the subsidies they are providing on food and fuel and housing and by providing salary increases to public employees. so different kind of fiscal measures. many countries around the region
are doing that now. and they vary between half a% of g.d.p. to maybe 3% or 4%. some countries can afford to do that. it's a choice they are making. others are quite stretched already because they have used up their fiscal space in the two years trying to deal with the global recession. on the back of that they didn't have that much fiscal space. they are trying to use that. i think one message we have been pushing is that it is the job of governments to help protect the most vulnerable. that's not the issue. the issue is is the best way to do it by subsidizing products or creating safety nets that are focused on vulnerable people and families and giving them transfers? now, setting this up will take time. there are people here from the world bank and world bank has a lot of expertise. a lot people have expertise around the world in this area to set up good safety net. that seems to me to be a response. i do see across the region some
common reactions. most deal the physical side so far. i see most of these reactions as being things that will help to buy time. but that don't get address the fundamental issues of how to creater business environment. how to actually provide the curriculum for people that will get them skills to get jobs. how to create more efficient safety nets. that's the next part of the discussion is what are the policy priorities that will share the dynamic rather than simply by time. >> mustapha, after all you worked many years all across the region. >> it goes back to my predicting what might happen, what is really very difficult and i don't think we have good times for this. but it's clearly that the ingredients i talked about are present in many countries, if not most of the countries of the region. no doubt about it. the issue is the -- what is the
strength, because i was talking about the degree to which any one in this agreement is present, that's where you find differences. so the degree of corruption, the extent of it, what type of corruption. when you see, for instance, people -- there's corruption in china. no doubt about it. but the corruption in china is not the time it was in tunisia. it's different because tunisia corruption was kind of the top and concentrated in a way, visible, highly visible. it's more widespread and more broad. it's not as visible. these things clear to different chemistry in terms of political and social die mention. so the nay -- dimension. so the nature and extent of the corruption, the extent of the youth unemployment and the university graduates is different from country to country.
so this makes for differential impact. that's what you see on the ground. countries are not reacting in the same ways. to the events. the political systems are different. and what is exacted -- expected is different. so there's no doubt that the ingredients are there. and it's slikely -- it's likely that things will happen in different countries and so on. but to try to predict exactly, i did not expect libya to happen the way it happened. it was very difficult. but the ingredients, we know the ingredients were there. no doubt. but it takes -- i thought libya was really much further down the road on this issues. and the government was trying to do all kinds of things that masood was talking about in terms of spending, so on. but it didn't work.
>> does oil, a lot of oil, and this is why i think we were all surprised, that -- frankly we were being surprised all along the line, we were surprised that tunisia had exploded in tunisia given the economic performance and strong indicators, then we were also surprised that it exploded in libya partly because we thought that oil wealth would provide some insulation. now, it's true libya's oil wealth is not as extensive per person, so to speak, as it is in the saudi arabia and the gulf. but does libya suggest that now some of the gulf countries perhaps saudi arabia itself is at risk? this is of course a very pertinent question in terms of the global environment. >> i'm not able to answer that question.
let me say that's why i emphasize, it is not about economics, it's not about the economy. it's not about -- some of the things you have to remember, this whole thing is about dignity, essentially. it's silly, but people -- you might be rich, you might be getting tons of money. you might be getting whatever, and subsidized housing. but if your dignity is not respected, something is wrong. the sense ever frustration, sense of humiliation. it's not because you are not getting, but because also the other guy is getting what they don't deserve. and that part is really has to be built into the system. so the reading of it as an economic indicator, the economic factors are contributors to it. but this psychology of people,
the respect for people, and the process for them, the hope, they have a hope in the future. the question i have been asking myself, for instance, is the following, suppose that tunisia or egypt were able to grow 8% like china over the last 10 years, and suppose that this would have -- allowed the young people to get jobs and to see hope in the future, while at the same time the political regimes remain the same and the corruption. by giving hope to people, maybe the sense of dignity and frustration would not be as acute and maybe this would not have happened. you could try to understand a little bit better what are the contributions. so in the sense the economic factor is there. it certainly plays a role because if the economy was much
better, maybe this would not have happened. but then given the economy, given the performance, then you get the other factors would become prominent and play the major role. >> ok, you are stressing dignity. this is taking us away from economics, i get very, very uncomfortable, but the -- is there a sense that in some of the countries of the middle east there is more dignity and in some countries there is less? is there a sense that in libya with the leadership that they have had that somehow there is less dignity there than there is in morocco or jordan where there is a long-standing monarchy?
i'm wading outside my comfort zone here. i'm curious. we will come back. maybe we should ask them. do you think there is a difference in the sense of dignity in differenting countries? does anybody have a view? yes. please stand up and identify yourself. >> morocco and the other monarchies, the monarchy in morocco has more, although it is a monarchy, than some republic in the middle east. in the case of tunisia, very harsh police states. author taxpayerism, this i mention as an example, especially tunisia. so the lack of political right
and horrendous record in terms of human right in the case of tunisia. >> ok, so there is a sense here that there are dig -- big differences across the regions in this respect. let me ask if mustapha and masood, this is my last question on the region before i turn to the world, let me ask if they see factors that we have not mentioned that make some countries more vulnerable and other countries less vulnerable. any factors we have mentioned -- we haven't mentioned or discussed? >> i don't think any particular factor we haven't mentioned. what we haven't yet said about the region which i think is worth saying is that actually no
matter where you are on the scheme of comparison of the difference -- different source of the vulnerability, is an interesting discussion but from a policy point of view it's not the central discussion. central discussion is the policy point of view is wherever you happen to be, what are the things that you need to do to make yourself less vulnerable? and the key issue there is how often the same common themes crop up. and i think that's my core take away is that this should be a bit of a wake-up call for everyone regardless of whether or not yourself have more or less vulnerable. you have to act on trying to provide a better business environment so you can accelerate the growth rate. in a way it's an interesting question. why is it a counter factual than the history we are looking at? why is it this region has grown so much slower than most developing countries for so
long? and the reason i think is that because despite the variation across the country in the region, most of them have not got the kind of business environment that creates private activity. there's far too much state involvement in production and less in regulation and the sill skill set of young people is not acan'ted to the kind of jobs we need. that's the agenda we need to move on. >> let me -- i don't think that we should leave it. i'd like to leave a point or at least outside of my comfort zone and yours. the whole view of after september 11, 2001, and all of the western and the iraq war, palestinian war, all of these things are part of the story. we haven't talked about them.
we are not qualified to talk about them. but i think we should keep in mind this is part of the dignity issue. and the frustration issue. the humiliation issue is part of it. we cont have a lot of time. you want to turn it over to the audience. let me ask masood to start. what implications do you see for the global economy out of this? what implications is the i.m.f. concerned about with regard to oil, food prices, trade, and just listing the channels through which these are. financial stability. migration. how do you see it?
>> if you take them, some are more important for some countries, others different. the big issue in everybody's mind, of course, right now is what does all this mean for the price of oil? if you look at it the period until things started deteriorating in libya, the impact on the price of oil was relatively modest. i think people did not see that. even now the impact whaps been happening in libya has been modest. in the short run there's still a lot of unused capacity. that can be brought on stream. particularly from saudi arabia. i think right now i think it was said earlier today, john, at the i.m.f., there was a short spike in the price of oil, the world economy can sustain that because the relevant oil prices over the second half of last year was a reflection of a recover in the global economy. now this is more concern about
short-term supply and security issues. if it's not sustained, that world economy can continue to deal with that without a big impact. the other issue which had been on people's minds, of course, when egint came on stream was the question mark about whether this would disrupt trade going through the suez canal. you don't see that in any of the markets, that implications. i think again just as it's hard for us to predict what's going to happen in individual countries, therefore it's hard to predict what the consequences are likely to be for the global economy. so far the impact on the world economy has actually been relatively contained. >> mustapha, do you have any elaboration, particular interested in migration. italians in particular have been up in arms about migrants coming in by the hundreds or the
thousands even over the straits from tunisia. but more importantly, anything you want to tell us about the implications? >> one can -- if we go back to the 1960's and 1970's,erlyly 1970's -- early 1970's, one of the methods of regulation of the markets in north africa was migration. migration was the main mechanism for which the growth in labor force was absorbed through migration. therefore the demand on domestic market for creating jobs was much smaller. now we know that since the mid 1970's an the 1976 and so on, that migration channel has been closed to a large extent. even though it has continued in many different forms. we have been arguing for the last many years and some of our
friends more than others on this migration issue that it's an important one for europe and north africa because that should be part of the agebbeda. it's not -- you cannot often trade and say we are trading, we are trading, and you open the trade for the goods, you don't open for the goods you don't like. then you close and you open, then movement of people is not on the table. people don't buy that. it's part of the dignity again. the dignity issue on migration is people go and queue for a visa. it's humiliating. to go and queue for visa. i have queued for visas for the world bank. i worked for the world bank. this is humiliating whether or any country, for any person. so people take and should, they
go through the channel. they go through all kinds of ways because you block the legal and organized way. so it's understandable. the europeans have not been able to face the issue. and i think it's part of the story. and then they have to face the issue and then deal with migration as a legitimate issue. of concern on both sides. then it has to be dealt with. and more importantly what is really more striking, in the interest of europe, it's not only in the interest -- not only have we looked at the numbers and it's a good match in terms of the demographics for europe to abeven for political and
whatever reason, this has been no -- it has been put off. i think it should be on the table. >> lessons from the episode should be drawn by u.s., the e.u., the i.m.f., the world bank , are these governments and institutions in part to blame for the current situation? for buttressing corrupt and autocratic regimes for so long? masood?
>> i think the main method for us is that the one you talked about earlier. that even though as a cooperative institution we have to work with 187 countries around the world, each country organizes itself differently, i don't think the i.m.f., here i will stray and make a comment about the world bank, i don't think either should be in the business of offering a kind of single view on how the world should organize itself politically. but what we do need to be doing and what i think the m m.f. will do more and more -- i.m.f. will do more and more is to recognize for economic reforms to be sustainable, they have to be seen to be inclusive and to offer everyone an opportunity to
participate in the benefits of those reforms. and therefore to talk about not just aggregate average numbers on growth rates, and actually it so happens, tunisia had among the highest per capita growth rate in the region, but to also begin to talk about how that growth is being shared. secondly, to talk about governance issues in ways where you begin to point out if people don't have access to property rights or to resolution or to finance regardless of their collections, that those are important sources of vulnerabilities to the sustainability to the microagenda. i come back to it from the croot of the core business of the i.m.f. which is stability and growth. to say without these things you cannot assure long-term microsustainability. >> mustapha, we have all been part, you and i and masood,
missions on behalf of the world bank or i.m.f. to libya, to tunisia, etc., to egypt, having these governments manage that situation under autocontractic and corrupt rule, were we wrong by participating in these? what do you think? >> i think i'm going to -- >> but, no, come on. >> i think, truly think the international institutions are trapped. they are trapped because they should do what they cannot do. they cannot speak on the
political ground. and they cannot express their views on that because if they do they are in trouble. on the other hand, if they don't do, they are in trouble as well because the public does not understand. and i have been listening to that. public opinion did not understand the positions of x, y, and z. and in the areas where they can -- the world bank, for instance, has developed a view on corruption in governance. taken the growth of governance. then if the government does not play, you cannot do anything. in tunisia there was no way you can have a survey on corruption and get any data on corruption. there was no way. it's not allowed. it was not allowed. so if you talk about corruption,
you are always -- how do you know? and this is just, you know, rumors. people -- they need some evidence that base their dialogue. they don't have t so -- have it. they are stuck. trying to do something about it and couldn't do it. the basic question, i don't hold the -- i would never hold whether the international are responsible for this. they are not responsible. it's just a matter what can they do not to be seen as like they are not aware. and they are not building that into their business. i think on that you have some arguments to operate. you can be -- you can present your case and your talk about this without being seen as too
much insensitive or unaware of this. sometimes the international, they go and talk like things are not there. and i think that's where they go wrong. but they are not responsible for what's happened but they are seen as -- >> so they have to continue doing their job for their political masters, but they have to show more awareness than they have shown in the past. all right. any questions or comments, indeed, from the audience? if you make comments, please keep them brief and recognize yourself and wait for the microphone, please. >> thank you. johns hopkins. i am italian and i don't consider tunisia a foreign country because it's a beach
historically -- bridge historically. that's why i am asking you something. we tend to consider part of the -- in part the two nearbyian revolution as part of an arab upprizing. yet the feeling the situation you have correctly described about, especially the young people in tunisia, is part of the all the young people in europe and tunisia, because when you have a 25% of graduated between 25 and 35 years old, you have a similarity which is shocking between europe and tunisia. so i don't think that the answer to why in tunisia is part of the uprising in the arab world. it's part of the uprising in the so-called -- this is the first
generation, i am a baby boomer as you, i think, so in our generation we were sure to be better than our parents. this generation is sure to be worse than our generation. . this is a common point between italian, french and tunisian. it is totally different from algerian or bolivian. >> thank you. if you do not mind, we will just take two or three of these comments and then come back. the gentleman back there. go ahead. and then the gentleman at the back i am with the u.s. for africa -- the u.s. a f for africa coalition.
i said there was going to be an uprising in north africa and offer cut in general and the political class will be slaughtered. people ask me how i knew something like that. let me say this, your comfort zone is in what you have been talking about i am the one who has been involved in decolonization in africa. i agree with you, human dignity, the perception of fear is what started this. we began to start a culture of the women and young to leave. >> -- to lead. >> thank you. and i remember your comment. >> i have a question and a comment. [unintelligible] to contest competition as a key
factor. in all of these transitions there is always an issue of how much play to allow those that were in power before, and in tunisia there seems to be that question, the value of the former president, to what extent he should play any role. could you give your view in how it will be organized in the future and how this process is likely to revolve? >> ok, mustafa, do you want to take the question? >> on the issue of the use as part of the crisis -- of the youth as part of the crisis, it is true. the question is, why have an
uprising that lead to a collapse of a political regime in tunisia and egypt, and you do not have it in belgium or italy -- that is the question. there is no doubt that there is this aspiration with the youth. but you have an uprising that in a very short time frame lead to the collapse of a very strong and intense political regime. it is different from what is in europe and things like that. in terms of the players canno, f the political players, in tunisia, it is still subject to debate. i cannot give you an answer. but my sense is that the world consensus is this. you know that there has been a decision to go to court and ask
for the courts to dissolve the old party, the major governing party. this -- there is broad consensus. in terms of structure, institutional structure, this structure would not be allowed to operate in future. now, this does not mean that the people that in general that are members of this party are going to be completely pushed out. out, and we see them trying to create a new organization and new parties and that is likely to take place. this is pulling itself out and presumably, some of this will be integrated. subject to some of the illegal things in some people are implicated in corruption and violence, they have to be
subject to legal processes. people who are regular members and to have a clean slate -- and who have a clean slate, they ll continue to be part of the system. >> nothing to add. >> we will broaden the question. we are in live television in a couple of places. you should bear in mind, depending -- on how rude you want to be. please introduce yourself. >> i am pleased to work with you at the world bank. my question is the fact you have not said anything about the army. in many ways in some of the societies, the army is one of
the few institutions that is functioning. we're having a dramatic example of two countries where the army plays a key role in the collapse of the regime. we do not fully -- i do not fully understand how. we are seeing in libya what is happening when that mitigating factor is not there. i wonder if you can speculate on especially in the case of tunisia, what is going to happen ifhis and -- the uneve results are that the army is compensated or reward for its role. and contributes to less. that is something that has been troubling me. that says to me that because of what was said about dignity
which i completely agree, we should learn as operational -- as institutions to operate outside our countrcomfort zone. it is comfortable but blinding in the sense that we missed a lot -- i am happy to hear what you say and the economy is being rehabilitated but it is late. if you think of the lack of operating outside our comfort zone has done in africa, i am thinking about sub-saharan africa. as a field for the next explosions. maybe technology is not there is much but the other two factors that was mentioned, corruption and unemployment of youth is
there as well. the question is, you have not talked in the world about sub- saharan africa whiche too often forget. that is another place where something is likely to happen. now that the tunisians have done it and the egyptians have done it, you have in a sense, the spark is there for other countries. you do not have to have it generated from witn. it can be generated from outside. i wonder what this will mean in terms of what is happening in places like yemen, or even jordan. i would like to hear your views. >> you had a question. please introdu yourself. >> thank you. i was delighted to hear the
exchange especially in my recollection of the experience of negotiation. i would like to say that the fundamentals are fine and we should not worry. there would say there are [unintelligible] and it is healthy. it is a good opportunity to hear that. i listened carefully to the arguments of my former professor and i was delighted in the spirit of the revolution to add things. do not have much to add. i wanted to iterate i emphasize the dignity that was said. we have to remember that the spark started with tunisia, the
himself on fire because you a slap in the face. -- he was slapped in the face. now that you are saying it, i am still speaking. that fear is important to say again, because there is on fear that -- no fear that ist is not doable. i think they would have doubted. people would have thought that these people will live and die and in this aspect, there was one question i think was not asked. how did we allow this to happen for all these years?
economy and the supply and demand side, it was the demand side that was msing. it is manna culpa -- mea culpa. i thought the generation is not one you could count on but in terms of better and more courageous, i am. would be almost unthinkable to think this would be the same. it will not be the same. >> thank you. >> i am edith wilson. i wish you well, you and your colleagues have an important job. i want to pose the question.
[unintelligible] on ecomic issues. i would like to hear more about from the central bank or your work on these demographic issues. i have been watching as these young people, five years ago [inaudible] one of the demographic issues that are in front of the governments. second, we need to cut off the internet. it was a former economic suicide. i do not know what you think about that sort of action. finland which has decided that access to the internet is in the public good and made it free
across the coury, should a country like tunisia which is trying to do something different and stimulate its economy, should they do what finland has done? >> very nice question, i have to say. do you want to go first? >> they are difficult questions. i will not talk about the army. [appuse] [laughter] it is a good question but i do not have much to say about it. in terms of, samir asked a very tough question. how did we allow this to happen?
we are responsie. that is not for today. for another day. the demographics question, tunisia is one of the countries in termsf demographics ahead of the curve in terms of transition. it is a country where the demographic transition has a chance to most and we are at the stage where population growth has -- it is less than 1%. what is important, the growth of the labor force is slowing down. is going to slow down in the next 10 years, 20 years. we breathing space. the labor market will weaken.
that gives us room and at the same time, a gives -- it gives thdemocratic process a better chance because, if you have the young population which is educated, there will be the active one in the political process, that gives you some confidence that the democratic process will be possibly stronger and more robust than otherwise. if you have the population we're it is under. if the meeting was 27 or so, or 17, it will be a different story. the movement of the distribution in terms is good for democracy. that is my guess.
internet access, as i said, the delayed internet action -- they delayed internet action as long as they could and exploded. one of the things that was done allowed access that is relatively low cost. they allowed access at very low costs of people were able to access the internet. there were applying something similar but not quite. it is not available anywhere -- everywhere. they were controlled. the other things that were controlled. i thought it is one of the major ingredients that made this possible in terms of speed of organization, the speed of action. people were able to connect and
so on. it did not work. the tunisian regime or it egyptian, they tried to interrupt the internet and so on. you know the story. they failed. >> should we enshrine the access to facebook as a fundamental human right? >> in addition, the other thing i would doubt on that point is -- add is i am more comfortable with getting rid of the obstacles that what people have access then to have some grand project. to have some state managed free access for everyone. in some ways, given the capacity to my getting out of the way and letting it happen
which is sort of what is happening in many countries is a more practical way of getting more people connected. one of the points of demographics which is to nasir is ahead of the curve, that is the point. there are countries that are behind them. i do worry about the fact that going forward, the escape valve, the pressure valve which was immigration not only to europe, but if you look at the last 10 years, the big boom in 10 years is within the region. into the gcc countries. you have remittances moving around in the region. going forward, one of the issues is to see whether you have the same rate of growth of
immigration. two oil exporters and other countries. even if the numbers stay high, you do not have the incremental pressure release that was happening over the last decade. we need to look at the migration issue there as well. i think it is a terrific topic for a different discussion which we should, i am sure you would want to organize. which is not only whether instant -- international stitutions should go beyond their comfort zone, but if so, how you build a political consensus and legitimacy? legitimacy of institutions and what they do is as important as their technical competence and building that framework of political legitimacy, for them to take a view of these things in a way that everyone except is fair and objective and
balanced, is not a trivial task. that is what i think what we're guest: they cannotpeak about the army, and i can speak about the army, but i do not know anything about it. i will say that i suspect there is a real issue there, a real study to be made of the army for some reason becoming a major agent of change. what is it? what is the combination that explains that? is it the fact that somehow they stayed a little bit aside from the corruption? that they maintained a political profession malady? was it -- what is it about the armed forces in these countries,
at least in the case of egypt and tunisia, looked like they are going to be a very major agent of change? we do not know for sure, but it looks that way. i think this is a question, in very good question for my colleagues who are not economists and deal with much more sophisticated issues than we do. which one?
to me, it is a revolution in a positive sense. in libya, we are all in awe, but it is magnificent in many ways. from the experience of working with one of these international organizations -- by work for the world bank -- and when you talk about being trapped, or what your powers really are, i want to share this experience. some of us did this report called from 4 to competition. -- from poor to competition. how hard it is to get that
message. it is true the humbling when you go to these events and you do not know whether it happens or if anybody comes. people have the view that the bank has so much power and so forth, but when you really want to raise some of these things, it is enormously difficult. and we have a vice president who is used to dealing with special- interest, she knows where to garner the support. i know in africa we have so much say in what you really do. but when you have an iron fisted regime, you have to try to be so
smart and everything, and still it is hard. but we still published this report. but we had the experience of life lessons, in a sense, and i really do not believe -- there is so much you can do. even right now working in the african region, we have a strong african politician leading us right now, and they always say, there is no way you can try to substitute government. there is really very little you can do. that really was my point, but i wanted to say about internet access, because it is not just some gods -- government sponsored free skiing. no, you pay for -- a government
sponsored free scheme. no, you pay for it, but the whole society is depending on that information. what is very interesting is in rural areas, it is not the government or even the private sector that is bringing it there. these remote areas have a cooperative function. they put the fiber cable in the ground because they know they needed. could this not the government that provides that. no, it is a largely private operation. >> thank you. with that, we will take one more question. i'm sorry. i have only enough time for one more question. then we will have closing remarks by massouood.
the you have a microphone? >> can you give us a bit more information on what type of financing and what other things you will need? but the other thing is, what do you need to make good on tunisia's daetz? and if you do not mind another question, how much time using the population is going to give you? >> this is going to have to be the final round. you'll have to combine any answers, comments, etc. and closing remarks. massod, you go first, and then -- masood, you go first. >> the only point i really want to make is that i think is very
important that we focus on the short term, which is legitimately what we have been doing. not to lose sight of the fact that addressing the kinds of obstacles that this transition will help to address, and it actually opens up a whole set of possibilities for the medium term. it can be much more positive. there is more uncertainty now, certainly, but that includes many more good outcomes as well. i want to leave people with the thought that we should recognize in the short term, but also keep our eyes on what could come after that, which is generally positive. >> let me address the question from the [unintelligible] in terms of financing and what is needed, and so on, i will not give you any numbers today. but it is something that we are working on and it will come in
due course. there is no one number. there is not going to be one number. there are different scenarios and things. but we will come to that very soon, actually. i do not know that creditors are giving me any more time to pay the debt. we have said that we are going to pare debt and we will pay on time and that is it. full stop. there is no problem. there is no issue of time, then giving us more time or less time. in terms of the population, that is a different issue because expectations are high and we have to deliver on some of the goods. and some of them are going to be short-term and some are going to be long term.
and that is the whole question, how do you do? -- and that is the whole question. how do you do that? that leaves me with the comment made by masood, which is really important, we are dealing with the short-term risks. we have to look at the longer term. a whole world of opportunities are opening. you have all of these young people with huge potential and you want the potential to be put to work. these people have shown how much energy, how much innovation they can bring to the table. this is really new and this capability was suppressed and it is going to be put to work. by putting this capability of
this young population of young women and young men and so on, that is where the future is going to be promising. while we are dealing with all of these issues, let's also look at the seeds that are clean -- being planted for the future. it will allow this potential to grow and develop and so on. and that is the big promise. personally, that is why i'm there. it is not relate to deal with the short-term issues. it is, how can we have this young population take over and fulfil the promise that is out there? that is our mission. we see us as trying to help this transition because they have so much transition. some of my colleagues are 40,
42, 43 and are full of energy and full of ideas. they know the world and they want to do things. and i know the 25 years, and 30 years old, and so on, it has been amazing. it has been a humbling experience. i see almost every day offers of help, young men and women -- what can we do? we are ready to come back. people are coming from canada, from singapore, from australia, from everywhere. they are ready to help. that is what makes it worthwhile. >> thank you very much. in organizing the session, i tried very hard to separate the economics and focus on the economics. i think it is fair to say that i have failed completely in that endeavor today. but there, too, lies a lesson
because if i have learned something from this exchange today, it is that what we are confronting in the middle east and north africa is actually not an economic transition, but a political transition. and out of that political transition, comes great economic promise. comes risk, but also a great economic promise. i think analysts have done a truth -- truly masterful job of navigating these difficult woods. but we would like to thank them. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> in under 30 minutes, live at the crash -- national press club for former arkansas governor, mike huckabee. his new book is called an " 12 things we really need from washington," and he will be talking about it at 12 noon on c-span. and then the ongoing discussion about the unrest in the middle east. that is at the palestine center at 1:00 p.m. and this afternoon at 4:50 p.m., the final flight of the space shuttle discovery, set to lift
off at, for 50 p.m. we will take you a little earlier than that to cape canaveral at about 4:30 p.m. eastern. this weekend, governors will talk about how to grow their states' economies, education, and cyber security as they gather for the attic -- the annual winter meeting of the national governors association. we will have live coverage this weekend on c-span. >> and head of the governors' meeting in the weekend, the mayors are in washington this week for their annual meeting. we talked to a couple of the mayor's, charlottetown, north carolina and oklahoma city, on this morning's "washington journal." our guest, mayors of oklahoma city and charlotte, north carolina. thanks to both of you for being here. >> very exciting. host: we have talked about the idea of unionizing what is going on with public employee unions. how does this play out in your community?
guest: from the city government perspective, our eenses are personnel-driven. we don't fund a lot of social programs. if you are asking cities to tighten their belts, you're asking cities to cut expenses, if you are talking about salaries and benefits for police officers and firefighters or less of them peridots are decisive decisions t mayors have to make and they are no fun. guest: one of the first things i did when elected in 2009 was assemble a group of citizens to look at our budget. one of the things that they warned us about was over the next couple years our public safety plan was going to be a challenge. so we are working through those issues now. guy think that nick is right. salaries and benefits of a lion's share of how the property tax dollars are used in our area. we are paying careful attention. host: talking about the economy, her issues happening in your cities, a budget shortfalls. you can join the conversation.
numbers on your screen. mayor fox is a democrat. talk about unemployment. guest: it is hovering over 10%. it's gone down a little over the last year-and-a-half or so. if we were hard-hit by the financial-services crisis. charlotte is the sond-largest banking center in the country. what also happened as a result of that is we really started looking more carefully at some of the other sectors that we have strength in, le energy and health care and other ones. what we are doing now to try to counteract the forces of unemployment is to strengthen and diversify our economy. we have de energy which is involved in the accommodation that will create the largest energy utility in the country. that will drive smaller
companies in the supply chain. we feel like energy will be a great opportunity for our future. we have to integrate hospital systems in our area and we are trying to grow the health care sector. we are trying to create long- term jobs and it will not come overnight, but jobs that will stay around awhile. host: 10% unemployment. oklahoma city has a different picture. unemployment is about 6% from december statistics. what is the situation? guest: we are fortunate to have the lowest and plummeted in the country. we have made great strides to diversify our economy. we were very energy-driven historically. we have diversified into aviation, bio-medical sector, as well as energy. it has really helped us to weather the recession from the previous years. our economy has been released from the for the past x or seven years.
we have been very fortunate. we are doing the right thing. host: the biggest ns that has come from your community is the fact of the democratic national convention will be there next year. what will the implications before? ? as we get past the story of how exciting is for opportunity to snag a major convention, what are some of the challenges? guest: this will be the first major political convention in north carolina. the last one for the democratic party was 1860 when it was in charleston. 's been a little while. we feel like we are due for a convention. i think it marks the return of the democratic party to the south. for us locally if it is a big economic development opportunities for us. it puts us on an international platform, not only as a city but as a state. the economic impact will likely be 150 million up to $200
million a year there's opportunity to expose the world to the great things north carolina has to offer. we think that it will be an opportunity that has ripple effects, many years down the road. in terms of the challenges, a i think that in this kind of economy, obviously, tampa and charlotte both will be working hard to raise the money to do the convention. i think we will do fine there. other than that, i don't see any major challenges. host: our guests are in town right now as part of e u.s. conference of mayors meeting. join the conversation. let's go to the democrat line calling from new jersey. caller: good morning. i would hate to be holding the bag with this economic situation because it trickle- down on you guys. the conversation prior and the discussion about unions, the multinational corporations that have all the power in this country right now, they have lobbyists, they have lawyers, they have a legal system that
works quite well for them, but all the working people if have are the unions. the only power that we have is in numbers. if you depend on any kind of paycheck, whether you are on social security or not, we are all in this together. hearing people from the private sector going after people in the public sector, this is not going to help us. we have to join together to straighten this situation out, because otherwise we will be living on company dependence and purchasing our children's clothing from the company store. governor scott walker of wisconsin was going to become a thug on those peaceful people demonstrating with their children in strollers. he said that he thought about it, but felt that the political backlash would not work for him. this is despicable. he had a balced budget when he
came in there. this whole balanced budget thing is only one paragraph, three sentencethat apply to the budget. the rest was giving no-bid offers to david koch and his brother to purchase their steel- thermal heating and cooling facility. host: we will leave it there. guest: is the the situation in wisconsin is interesting. rest of us arnd the country are watching to see what takes place there. my experience has bn that we value our puic safety, union officials in oklahoma city, we value our police and firefighters and believe they should be compensated. we think they are. the average firefighter in oklahoma city makes over $70,000 and police officers make $75,000. our cost of living is 90% of the national average. keep in mind its costs the city $100,000 per officer when you start adding in the cost of the
uniforms and other benefits to their retirement plans. is it? absolutely. a lot of times - is its eighth priority?a absolutely. when y get down to the union leadership, it's a different story. we have had disappointing results in oklahoma city when we have gone face-to-face with union leaders. guest: this union issue is part of the economic challenge we are facing. we would not have many of these difficult conversations if public budget are not being hit so hard. in north carolina, our school system has $100 million shortfall. you look at teacher layoffs and it is the same sort of dynamic. i think what behalf to keep working on is the other side of the letter, to make sure the economy starts pumping again.
because that will start to increase public sector revenues. this is not going to be an easy year for anyone. i think this is going to be the toughest year for local government in probably 40 or 50 years because of the fact that there is less federal money, less state money, and things hit the fan when they get down to the city level. host: union leaders have voiced concern about charlotte as a choice for the caps dnc convention because of non-union hotels, what is your resnse? guest: have said all along that a couple of things, number one, the democratic national convention is one that brings together all the constituencies the democratic party, labour included. that is no secret. it is not a secret to us in north carolina. we would not be doing our due diligence if we did not reach out to labor and try to figure out ways to work with them as we
have been trying to pull off this convention. you may be pleasantly surprised at our out reached. of zero who share our corporate subsidies and corporate welfare. pension plans and health benefits for union workers and government workers whether they are in a union or not. is it just is economically unsustainable. i would suggest this is an opportunity to get out from under the thumb of political power of this privileged class called the unions. these folks are holding
politicians hostage. they can now take this opportunity to say let's get real, economically, and cut these benefit back. more importantly, we want you when you retire to have benefits. right now, there is no way to have benefits because the system will collapse. it is in your besinterest. i want to hear about the political opportunity to change thprivileges of the union workers. guest: i would say it is an uneven playing field. we would love to be able to negotiate with our unions on a level playing field. because of state law, it does seem like the unions are heavily supported by the arbitration system and what starts off as an
honest conversation about negotiations turns into a situation where we cannot ever seem to get a sustainable budget going forward. when your costs are personal- driven, you have to keep them down. we have not been able to successfully get our union leaders to see the benefits of working with us and keep expenses down going forward. if your revenue is not able to keep up with the union demands for their benefits, we have to start cutting our parks department, our contributions to animal welfare and the streets, roads, and bridges. the cost of personnel is driving cities under. we have to get better situation for our state gernment to be able to keep a handle on our personnel costs. host: when you entered office
not long ago, there was almost a 13% unemployment rate in charlotte. how do you balance those things? guest: you have to be focused on who is the end user of our services. do not have any -- there is no glory in cutting things that are going to ultimately impact our abilityo respond to a fire or a crime situation or to put roads in place to help our economy grow. we have to stay focused on that. some of these discussions with the labor issues and things like that -- some places across the country are laying off polic officers and firefighters. if it is compromising our ability as a public sector to actually do what we are assigned to do which is to protect the public, i think that is a real
problem. i think in some of these tuations, we have to get to the table and work it out. host: our guests are here for the u.s. conference of mayors meeting. from oklahoma city, okla., mick cornett spent 20 years in local television. he also serves as a trustee of the conference of mayors and serves on the advisory board and chairman of the urban economic policy committee. let's go to an independent caller in north carolina. good morning. caller: i appreciate the opportunity to speak for what i believe, probably the silent majority of the people in this
country. most people in this country do not have anything to do with unions. they are the majority of the people in this country. the unions, yes, they did do a good thing in the beginning. like a lot of people, muammar gaddafi 41, have outlived their usefulness and have become simply trying to hang onto power. host: any response? guest: i do not think the unions have outlived their usefulness but we do need help from our legislators to negotiate honestly with our employees. we have to have a sustainable model gog forward. other drastic cuts are going to have to be made. i would like a level playing field when i negotiate. guest: getting back to
charlotte and are pubc safety pay plans, what we are doing i convening a group of our city staff and our police officers and we are saying, ok, here is the problem. in a couple of years, our public plan is going to get into a train wreck situation. how do we work through this? we do not want to lay off police officers. we want to keep recruiting people into the system. we defined the problem and we started working for the solution. but the dynamic has to change because the situation is different than it was two or three years ago. on the case by case basis, the issues will get worked through. host: what is the government doing to help or hurt job creation in your city? guest: great question. you know, we have a government
sector, first of all. we have an aviation sector. there are in government jobs coming from the federal government. we do get grants. they are under the microscope and there could be significant cuts. we also need some help going forward with internet sales tax. there ia main street fairness act and which companies that sell products over the internet are currently notayg sales tax on those products. as more and more people spend their disetionary dollars on the internet, it is hurting local governments that rely on sales tax. you have practices trendin away from revenue on the city side. we are looking for some help. host: what about the stimulus funding? guest: it went to the states and its traditionally did not get to the cities.
that was disappointing. there was probably some job creation that trickled into th cities. largely, thenventory in the rural areas was addressed. the stimulus money did not get to the cities. host: what is the federal government doing to help or hurt your community? guest: one-third of the money that was spent, $787 billion, was tax cuts. another third was aid to the states. i agree that we got a trickle of that money. finally, the other third went directly to citizens through title won support for schools, food stamp assistance, and things like that. i think there was probably a significant amount of days
setting back king -- amount of base that went to the citizens. i think, overall, the government has helped us sustain ourselves over the last couple of years. with the recovery act dollars going away this year, that takes a little bit of the veil off of the states. now the state's budgets are exposed. there are going to be local impacts. host: charlotte received about $127 million last year in stimulus funds comred to oklahoma city, $1.4 million. guest: that sounds about right. guest: thank you very much. [laughter] guest: we probably needed it. host: 10% unemployment rate versus 6.1% unemployment rate.
caller: thank you, c-span, for allowing us to give our comments. i have one question and one comment. as far as the unions are concerned, and the democratic party is concerned, there was a union there. whatever the unions needed, the democrats saw that legislature was pushed through out the years, and they got it. the union's charge people dues and took that money and backed the democrats. that cycle is about to be broken now. whereou take the state's the 14 democrats have walked out -- what happens when the democrats take over, which they will? and the republicans walk out? how do you rectify that?
what do you do? guest: i think it is important to keep in mind that governments can provide services not to provide jobs. -that is very important to remember. we went to our unions and try to increase the size of our staff a year ago but it would never acquired some budget cuts on their side of the equation of about 2%. we could not get to the table with it. as a result, we wound up with fewer police officers and firefighters on the table. he would like to get some sort of reliable feedback -- you would like to get some sort of reliable feedback. host: let's move on and talk about foreclosures and some of the mortgage crisis issues. this came to our attention. when the democratic national conventi goes to charlotte this year, --
this is coming to us from real- estate future foreclosure hotspot. guest: we have never as a community or as a state professed to be anything but a reflection of the country that we live and and the times that we live in. in many ways, charlotte will show itself to be an example of what is an incredibly bright with our country. the day before the dnc announced charlotte as the locion, a group of philanthropists
announced a grant to our school system to help the most challenging part of our school system moveorward. that is a tangible example of the type of community that we live in. the foreclosure problem is an indicator of the and plum a problem. the people who are out of work who eventually lose the capacity to pay their mortgages -- it starts running on itself. so we know that is a challenge in our community. we are starting to see signs that the economy is coming back some. host: this story looks at foreclosures in oklahoma and says oklahoma city was ranked as -- guest:e have largely been unaffected by the housing
crisis. a there is a bottle of discretionary income because our salaries tend to be higher. housing prices are very low in oklahoma city. i think that what charlotte has dawned in going this incredible city i have had the good fortune of visiting, oklahoma city is starti to realize the secret of the workforce are attracted to cities where there is a high quality of life. if you are talking about job creation, it is because we have been able to attract that talent pool. host: this tweet -- guest: is a real challenge. it will largely do it through property taxes and pay it out
over several years. we hav17,000 leads of road in the city that we are responsible for. guest: we are working every day to try to make sure we are preparing this community for success. whether it is within the context of a workforce development or other things, we are trying to move forward. i think a lost sight of what your question was. hoswe do it through property tas primarily. we also hava little bit of a sales tax, 13% of our annual budget is sales tax revenue. as the mayor pointed out, for various reasons, revenues have been down.
we are back to 2004 levels with their sales tax. guest: our property taxes are low but 51% of our ince comes from sales tax. as a result, it can change the way you react to retail situations. host: the mayor of charlotte, mayor foxx, also served as a councilman and was an attorney. you still are an attorney. to a democratic caller in florida joining us. hello. good morning. caller: i have a question. for either one of the mayors. why has jobs been such a depressing problem?
for african-americans -- i do not like to say african amerans. i like to say descendants of slaves. for these jobs, job creation, when they are created, will there still be a depression problem for african-americans or descendants of slaves to get a good job? because it has always been a depression problem. guest: i think the history of slavery and the history of oppression is still harmi african americans here in 2011. it is very disappointing. i think it is an education issue. if you look at education in african american communities, they seem to be lower than other minority groups.
we are working hard to correct it. guest: it is a significant problem. if you look at the overall on income rate, and you match it against the african american on the, rate, the african american unemployment rate is significantly higher. if you look at youth employment, kids below the age of 24, the unemployment rate in some areas for african american youth is over 40% and sometimes 50%. so there are definitely some challenges. then you match that up against another fact which is that in some schools in our school system across the country, african american males are graduating at a 28% rate or a 30% rate. it does not te a rocket scientisto see long term there is going to be a real problem
that it's worse than it is today if we do not do something. i think the mayor is exactly right, that education has to be a critical area of focus for our country. we all have to see the benefit of invting in education and restructuring education to be child-centered. we as the mayors are talking about that all the time. in the short term, we have to fight to protect things like youth employment programs. we are going to be talking later today about funding to help cities provide these kinds of opportunities for kids. so often, i am really worried that in the short term we may see a cavalcade of budget cuts that impact children that sta with us for more than 20 years if we are not careful. est: i think the mayor is right. the graduation rates are not what they should be.
we failed in that regard. host: reflect on the budget, the c.r. that was recently passed. guest: as far as funding, we get discretionary dollars out of washington. the funds are things that mayors can designate in our communities where the needs are. if you start cutting those, you are going to start cutting into a lot of social programs that affect a lot of people that rely need the help. a 60% and cut is way too much. we are willing to tighn our belt. the idea of cutting the funds drastically is a really bad decision. host: how is your voice heard in this debate? guest: it is my opinion that we will take some cuts. i have tried to communicate on
the white house level and to congress there are other ways that they can help. i think the main street fairness act, taking the loophole involving sales tax on sales over the internet, is a way to not have a negative impact on the federal budget. host: what is yo opinion of the president's proposed budget for the next fiscal year? guest: this is from the mayor's perspective, but i think we have to be less focused on the democratic and republican perspectives. this is really a pivotal moment in our country. there is less revenue in public coffers so we have to make careful choices. the choices cannot be just cut, cu cut or spend, spend, spend. the economy has transitioned
away from manufacturing. we have to get manufacturing jobs back here. we have to be exporting more goods and services out of this country. it needs to go back to the education, back to the infrastructure. i do not tnk those are partisan issues. it is disappointing, quite frankly, that on some level, the president has laid out a very good case for the categories of spending that are important to the future of the country. i am hopeful that both houses of congress will be responsible. host: let's go to texas. welcome. caller: hey, nick, how are you doing this morning? i am from oklahoma city. my daddy was a former oklahoma city policeman. i just wanted to talk about the
unions a little bit. i am sure you remember back in the 1970's when the police went on strike. most of your policemen out there and work two >> you can watch this segment and more coverage of this week's mayor's meetings at our video library at c-span.org. mike huckabee is at the national press club promoting "a simple government: twelve things we really need from washington." a conversation about that book is just about to get started live here, on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> can everybody hear me? good. it is great to see this great crowd here. wonderful.
mike huckabee is here today. it is a part of his book tour to promote his newest book, "a simple government: twelve things we really need from washington (and a trillion that we don't!) ." is an honor and pleasure to introduce a man who burst on the national stage in to those and it when he won our republican caucuses and finished third behind and john mccain and mitt romney in the nomination for president. he burst on page 6 of "the washington post." the question on many minds now is whether he will pursue the republican nomination in 2012. maybe he will tell us today. governor mike huckabee was born
in 1955 in hope, ark., nine years after bill clinton was born there. his father was a firefighter and a mechanic, but the son was to become a congregational pastor, and head of the southern baptist state convention. in 1974, he man in -- he married his high-school sweetheart, and they have three children. he was elected lieutenant governor in 1993 and was governor from 1996 until 2007. he is also an author of such books on character-building, and one on beginning a healthy lifestyle. he also hosts the fox news channel show how to be. he is an honorable member --
huckabee. he is also a member of the fraternity that incidentally was also the fraternity of ronald reagan. i give you mike huckabee. [laughter] [applause] >> i might also mention it is the honorary fraternity of elvis presley. where i come from, the three people speak of our jesus, elvis presley. i was almost the same. i have a phone call this morning, that lasted 20 minutes, and i was finally able to break loose and be with you. i wanted to correct one thing i was not third in the republican primary. i was second. i worked really hard to be second, not that it means a darn
thing because when you come in second place, there is no prize, or 1/3, or fourth. i think all of you have a copy, at least i hope of the -- hoped to do, of the book "a simple government: twelve things we really need from washington (and a trillion that we don't!) turcotte i hope you have a chance to read it. -- (and a trillion that we don't!)." i hope you have a chance to read it. in many times, -- many ways i have been asked the question about 100 times its five when you run for president. no matter how many times as stated, there are a hundred ways people reported. there is an option that i am considering, and i am seriously and genuinely contemplating it. i also want to make sure people understand where i stand, what i believe, and what i think
america's priorities ought to be. part of the reason i'm writing the book is to let people have been inside before they know on the front end before i run, and before they commit. part of the purpose with the book was to say "here i stand." martin luther nailed 95 on the door, and i'm not sure this is as important apiece, but it is a document of a statement of conviction. you will find some things that i say that are not necessarily politically correct. i do not always follow the company line of the gop. there are some more unorthodox points of view that you will find. i think you will find an extraordinary level of candor, where i talk about things like social security and medicare.
i want to give a summary of some of the salient points i think are most critical in understanding what is in this book, why i wrote it, and then i will be happy to answer your questions. in politics, we call? -- we call them "q&a" and that usually stands for questions and answers, but here it's not -- stands for questions and avoidance. [laughter] the issues we face in this country are extraordinarily complex, and often the answer to dealing with them are not easy, but they are simple. it is necessary to back away and the through a macro lens, and ask ourselves is there a common sense principle we could apply that would make sense out of some of the challenges and the issues that we face.
in each of the chapters, why i have done is create a subtitle. for example, the first chapter, i talk about the most important form of government being a father, mother, and children. the first level of government to which any of us are subjected is not the government of our city, state, or our federal government. is the government on what our own family. if that is where we are governed first. the fact is that it is bad form of government that serves as the foundation for all other forms of government. i tried to make the case, and i believe i do, that this is not just a social issue, as it has often been described. and there are people that want to create an artificial conflict between the designated social issues and the economic issues. the first chapter of the book will make it very clear that there is a direct correlation
between the fabric of our culture in the relationship of its families, and the economy of the country. i want to begin before i even get into some of those figures by saying that i make it very clear that this is not an attack on president obama. i believe we hear a lot of talk about civility, although on any given day you will find politicians to use the most inflammatory rhetoric possible. there were some congressman yesterday that were utterly bizarre from congressman regarding going to the streets. i find in the midst of that it is important that we can somehow separate a person's policies from the person. i find it unnecessary, useless, and, frankly, a bit on necessary to get into debates over president obama's religion, the authenticity of his birth -- i know for some people is an
obsession. it is not with me. i have said this many times. if there was any question about the authenticity of his birth certificate, i am sure that the opposition researchers and hillary clinton campaign would have found that and use that. we could save ourselves a lot of time. secondly, he has personally articulated not once but numerous times of his christian faith. i take him at his word. i have no reason not to. for us to dwell on that is missing the point. i have no disagreement with president obama as a human being. in fact, i will go so far to say that i respect the role model he has served as a husband and a father. he has been an exemplary husband to his wife and father to his children. america needs a good role model like that.
how can i argue for the prominence the of the american family and not recognize that he has given the senate -- an excellent example of a person who has his priorities straight in marking up time for his wife and raising his daughters in a disciplinary environment where he recognizes he, the parent, is responsible for the atmosphere in which they are raised. i commend and salute him for that. as a child growing up in de -- deep south, who saw the evils of segregation and the horrors of segregation, it did give me cause to celebrate that in my lifetime i saw an african- american elected to the presidency. i could have wished it to be a republican, and i can wish that now that we have been there, and done that, that we will get -- elect a republican next year, but i genuinely felt a sense of great satisfaction in seeing in my life that moment,.
i do not celebrate his policies. i will make it very clear why. this is not an attack on president obama, the person, even though you will see sharp elbows at the policies that he has put forth, specifically, many of the economic policies. the most basic form of government being a family, there are some things that i think we as a culture need to fully grasp, and one of them is that if we do not have strong families, the government will end up with extraordinary costs. for example, there are figures that should get our attention -- simple things like the family that does not have a frequent dinner together around their own table -- children growing up in that atmosphere are two times more likely to use tobacco and marijuana, and 1.5 times more likely to use alcohol and make c's or the were in school.
i am not saying the government must have a program. i am not for a nanny state. i do not want the government telling us what to eat, once a week, or how often to gather around a table. i would like for americans to understand common sense needs to be applied. when there is not the sense in which families raise their children, and expect the government to do it, the taxpayers end up with an extraordinary consequences. to those both on the left and the right to believe that there is nothing to be gained from a discussion of the importance and the primacy of the basic family unit, i asked them to wake up and smell the dinner table, because the fact is there are some direct costs that result from a broken fundamental form of government we know in this country we have a $300 billion
debt deficit, how much the government picks up. that is real money. even in washington terms, to $300 billion is a significant amount of money. we also know that two thirds of the children in america who live in poverty would not live in poverty if the mothers of those children were married to the fathers of those children. my wife was raised by a single mom who successfully raised five of her kids and one step child, and is a remarkable woman. there are extraordinary success stories that all of us could tell of people who in single- parent homes have been able to overcome the odds, but it does not change the odds. the guides are the children who do not have the stability -- the guides are that children who do not have the stability of a
family where there is a mother and a father present, and at least one of the parents is employed, and those parents have a high-school education, that child has a significantly higher likelihood of living most of their child in -- childhood in poverty. that is probably david culver calling again. tell them i've probably already talked to him -- i have already talked to him. daniel patrick moynihan admitted that 25% of the african- american births in this country were out of wedlock. he was a thoughtful man looking at this objectively. at the time, as a young staffer in the department of labor, what he saw startled him, and give
him pause, and he wrote about it, and warned the consequences of a growing level of out-of- wedlock births. how shocked would he be to find that today 75% of african- american births are out of wedlock. 41% of all births are out of wedlock. again, forget the position on the political spectrum. this is a concern. there are economic consequences for those children. i would like to think that people on the right are just as interested in eliminating poverty as people on the left, but the reality comes down to simply putting more money in a government program. that does not address the root issue which is mothers and fathers are the most important form of the government. i also want to mention that i
think we sometimes forget that the origin of our country was one in which government was intended to be as local as possible, and as limited as possible. one need only to read the writings of jefferson, james madison, john adams, to see that it was never intended that we have a massive federal government, but what has happened since 2009, even states and cities get more of their revenue from the federal government than any other source. this would be a shock to thomas jefferson, james madison, into our founders, who never concede that the federal government would be so big that it would not just be as big as, but incredibly much bigger than the collective states and cities that originally the federal government was to serve. but, that is where we have come.
so, my title in this view is that the further you dress from shore, the more likely you are to be lost at sea. the premises is a common-sense, simple principle if i govern my own family, i can do that because i know my children. my wife and i have three children. we have a 34-year-old son, a 30- year-old son, and it 20-year -- 28-year-old daughter. for some reason, once the kids all moved away, we ended up with three dogs. we end up with three dogs. the kids think the dogs have replaced them. they also think we treat the dogs better than we treated them. i simply tell them that -- that the dogs be a better -- i simply tell them that the dog's behavior better. i know my own children. i know their personalities.
when they were growing up i do not think there is a person in america who couldn't raise them better than me because they were of sydney. -- who could raise them better than me, because they were of meat. i knew when they were going to crack the i knew when they were getting angry. -- i knew when they were going to cry. i knew what they were going to get angry. i virtually could melt my daughter by might look of disapproval. all of that is to say that the closer you are to the people being governed, the better you are able to govern because you know them. government at the neighborhood or community-level is more effective because you are governing people you know, you like, and you are responsible for. one people tell me they are on the school board, i always say
you have the toughest job in politics. they can find you at the little league game, and they can chew you out. i am approachable, but i know where i can get away. if you are on the school board, they have your home number, and it is the toughest job in american politics, but you know what? that is a good thing. the more the government gets disconnected from the people that are being governed, the less likely they are to get it right. i am not sure that any person living 100 miles or 1,000 miles from my neighborhood would better raise my children than me. the application of that is that we have made a huge mistake. but me be clear, whether it is a democrat or a republican administration, both parties have made the unconstitutional and unconscionable mistake of moving government further away
from the local community, and closer to this city. in doing so, we've created not only a monstrous-size of government, but we've created one that is very unlike our founders envisioned. in the federalist papers, it is explained why. what we have come up with is a formula by which the federal government is able to get larger and larger by the granting of federal money to the states and the programs, often just enough to get them hooked on something, but the long-term money is left to the states and cities. when i was governor are remember the big program to put 100,000 cops on the street. it made good press conference, and the first three years it was funded.
guess what happens in your four? if the cities and the states do not have the money, the governors and mayors to make the announcement said they have to lay off police officers. the headlines always read the column there makes a our cities on safe caracol this idea is what the free -- the headline always reads "maters make our cities unsafe." we are seeing governor's turned down federal money, and many people in this city are throwing up their hands and saying what is wrong with these guys? they do not want money for a high-speed rail or to expand their medicare program? they are smart enough to understand if the money is only good for two or three years, some governor in the future will
curse them for taking money they cannot sustain once the federal funds dry up. that is why more decisions need to be brought death to a local community. when i was vice-chairman of the national governors' association, mark warner, who was then chairman and i worked on getting all the states and governors together on a medicare reform program, and go to the congress and the senate and ask them to approve changes that would save the federal government money and give the governors more flexibility. there were 50 governors in america. 49 signed on. every governor except one have not signed on. rod will give its did not sign on. he was the only one that did not. we thought this ought to be a slam dunk. it is not a political issue. it is not partisan.
mark warner and die, one democrat, when republican -- and i, one democrat, one republican, we say we can save you several billion dollars, let us govern our medicaid programs all little bit more. it was the biggest fight i have never been in. mark and i would look to each other and just shake our heads and say "what is wrong with these guys?" they wanted to fight fights we were not even having. it taught me an important lesson. a further you row the vote from the shore, the more likely you are to be lost at sea. be a lot of folks in the city that are lost at sea. i used a quote where states
were the laboratories for government. the states for where power was she did and they would have the opportunity to try things, sometimes bold things, and sometimes they would not work. when they did not work, not all the states would make the mistake of attacking them, but it would be one thing that had been tried and put aside. if it did work, all the other states could adopted. think about what we have done in the last year with obama-care which i specifically reference as one of the prime examples of rather than road testing something in the states, which in this case it had been tested yet tennessee in massachusetts -- tennessee and massachusetts, but no one book that those programs, and decided that even though it did not work really
well, let's put all 50 states under the program so everyone can sell equally. is that kind of insanity that i believe we have to speak to. by the way, speaking of insanity, every one of the attorney general in the united states, every last one of them, and complained to the office of the comptroller of the currency about the growing housing bubble, and the fact that we were headed for serious consequences and dire consequences if we continue to follow the policies without stepping in with different levels of regulations on making loans to people who could not afford to take those loans. again, bipartisan, all attorney general's in all 50 states filed a complaint. this was not a democrat against republican. this was state against the fed, saying are you guys not? they did not say they were, but
their actions said "yes, we are crazy." the result has been an economic meltdown that as calls all lost a dramatic impact -- caused all of us a dramatic impact. we ought to be outraged, angry, and demand a new level of accountability. i will not get to cover the entire book before i take your questions, but i want to say that part of this book was written last summer, in june, july, and august, and put to bed in november. no one was talking about public employee unions and their impact, but if you look on page 35 of the book i feel somewhat validated because i feel -- i talk about the coming meltdown that we will see as a result of the public employee unions and in the fact that against the are 30% sector, wagers
better and benefits are 70% better in the corresponding private sector. i had been a governor for the 11 years. it became obvious that if you look at the long-term calculations here, it is unsustainable. in the same way that if a governor looks at the medicare program and sees costs going up anywhere from 6%-12% a year, and looks at the health plan -- in my stated would require all of the employees of walmart and tyson foods, the two largest corporations in arkansas combined, and they would not equal the number of state employees. in most states, the state- employed body is the largest entity and as they are unionized, it becomes a
parasitic relationship with the states, and a symbiotic relationship with the federal government. i feel validated because you could see this coming. his playing out on the lead story of every newscast -- it is playing out in every lead story of the newscast. it is in indiana, ohio, and probably coming to a theater near you were there is a growing sense of urgency about how we are going to fund these costs. some of these are trying to say this is republicans attempt to bust unions these are factors jerry brown are dealing with iran -- are dealing with in california and andrew cuomo is dealing with in new york. i doubt they watched fox news every night. they should, but i doubt they
do. we cannot bar all we cannot pay back. you ought to understand that with your family. if you are in serious financial trouble, you have to stop spending. i have never met a mother and father who sit down and say i've lost my job, i do not know where we're going to do, we are broke, we have no savings, so you know we need to do? let's go to disney world. we do not spend money. we figure out how to cut back expenditures. we figure out whether we can sell. when i ran for office and i knew we did not have enough money to live on, i cashed in my insurance policy, annuities, we sold off things. my point is you do not recklessly spend if you do not have that, and the last thing you do is if you cannot pay back, go to the bank and ask to borrow several million dollars.
i tell some ridiculous stories of what i would love to do is build a $100 million home in the hamptons, higher servants to take care of it. why do i not do that? no bank would never lonely the money because they look to me and say there is no way you could pay that back. we have a whole series of times in this country where the government encouraged people to take out loans they could not pay back, and why did they do that? the government set the example. the government has been borrowing money they cannot pay back. we owe more money than our total combined gross domestic product in a year for the first time in history. this ought to be shocking. we have a gross domestic product that is less than what we all. when you do that in your family, and i'm getting the question signal, right? either that, or you were making a pass at me. i am not sure which it was.
[laughter] >> i am going to assume it is about the questions. when that happens into -- in your family, you are under water. a lasting in need to do is to pour more water on yourself. i try to cover the broad front from the border security and everything in between. most importantly, i want to say this is an attempt on my part to say "here i stand, here is what i believe kirkcaldy the question you want to ask is are you going to run -- i believe." the question is you want to ask is do you believe this message resonates with you. that gives me encouragement if it does. with that, i will open up to? >> i have two questions for you, governor. first of all, president obama is
considering opposing the marriage act. since this just happened, other economic consequences as well? [unintelligible] secondly, i understand in response to israeli settlements and the arab opposition to building them, you believe that these is the equivalent of racism. i'm one and if you could clarify those remarks. >> that is a wide range of a question, but i will do my best cared -- best. >> in our "newsmakers" program,
would each reporter identify his media linked, and give us their name, and try to make the question as short as possible? thank you. >> ok. i think the first question -- i think the president made an incredibly amazing, inexplicable political error yesterday because he is out of touch with the voters in every state in which this has been on the ballot. 33 states have had this issue on the ballot, and in all 33, including liberal states like california and maine, voters have affirms the definition of marriage to be the traditional definition of marriage. if he wants to keep his promise of this should be handle legislatively, he should've kept his promise.
he and broke it. if he should also explain why this is not the position he took one he was on his campaign. i think he would not have. -- not have been collected. either he was not been honest then, is not being honest now, or he changed his position, and needs to explain when, how, and why that happened. the basis on which he says his justice department will not defend doma is because some lower court has decided. by that standard, the president owes the american people a response as to why he would base a decision on doma because of
a lower court decision, but will not do the same for obama-care, which is also been rejected by a lower court decision. it is the hypocrisy that is as disturbing as the policy reversal itself parity is going against his own campaign platform. whether he did that with a wink- wink, that is what i find frustrating about politics today. you might disagree with the conclusions i've reached in this book, but you know where i stand. i think politicians zero people that kind of clarity of conviction. -- owe people that kind of clarity of conviction. >> governor, you talked about seeing whether your message resonates through this book. [unintelligible]
are you going to pick a number for the possibility of money raised? >> to successfully compete in the primary cause or make the decision to run? >> you cannot raise money on us to declare a candidacy. if you declare a candidacy, i also give up my job. i want to make sure i am ready to give up my job. those to the ball -- those two happen simultaneously. some people in congress get to draw a paycheck, and campaigned on my time as a taxpayer. they never even have to come to office. i will be in a different position. the day i say i am running, that is the day i do not have an income. what i am looking for is
something that i cannot to define and quantify to save his sells this many copies, or review with favorably, but i think you have a feel for it and you know whether it resonates. people say i love the book, i get it, i am with you, that is different than "hey, it was not a bad." i know the difference between those two things. [unintelligible] >> did you support the idea -- [unintelligible] >> i will not second-guess governor walker. each governor has to govern their own state. when i hated the most was take one state, and take it as a
template and laid it across all 50 states. there are no such things as two states that are identical. mine is why i hate report cards. they are meaningless. if you do not analyze that to the lines of each state's constitution, statutes, political environment, priorities, how many people are in poverty -- are a lot of factors. i am same as -- saying this from experience of the governing state for a long time, along with anyone who ran for president four years ago. at that level, governing is an art, not a science. i want to be very clear. i am not going to try to legally but governor walter's decision. let me tell you what i believe was important in my state.
we have a very low teacher pay. we have the highest increases in teacher paid during my time as governor. we also made major changes in teacher pension and retirement plans, but i knew we could find them, and we did. we went from some of the worst paid in the country, to some of the bus in our region, and frankly, if you put in all of the economic factors, one of the best that we had. that was a difficult decisions. i did not need to take that to the voters. i had a legislature that agreed with me that good teachers ought to be paid good money. i still believe that. we ought to tell you teachers. they are the fundamental force of what kind of generation we will have the next time. i wanted to be pretty good. so, governor walker's decision might be a very different one. he will have is some explanations.
>> did president george w. bush make the right decision in relations with -- [unintelligible] >> i think it is awkward for the president of the united states to tell another country and its leaders said they ought to step down. there might be one here. there was one of your body will years ago in iran. presidents have been from 8 -- there was one two years ago in iran. it is easy for me to be critical, and i will be on many decisions the president will make. i am also cognizant of the fact that while i can second guess a lot of things, i did not have the intelligence reports that he gets every morning. i do not have the access to a larger picture and body of information that he would get.
>> you called on president obama -- >> one of the statements i made is that of michael and walk softly and carry a big stick, when the policies is make a policy, and grow with the stick. i did not think that as a great foreign policy. >> i wanted to ask -- [unintelligible] >> about his health care policy? >> in general. >> like your website indicated the other day -- , unlike your website indicated the other day, which was i might run for president over a personal grudge, which is the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard. i will firm that today, that that is nonsense. i do not have a personal issue with mitt romney.
in i clashed in the last presidential contest. i do not think it is a surprise one if you think and they say things about you that are not sure that you said this is lovely. i was not singing that capt. and some meals song all code do that soon be one more time -- "do that to me one more time." if mitt romney is a candid, i will support that, because i am a republican. i am critical of the messages as health care program, but i'm not alone on that. i'm using information gleaned from entities deadlocked at it and said this and not turn out so well -- hattis that has looked at it, and said it did not turn out so well. >> [unintelligible]
>> if you did not hear the question, it is the president has called for an increase of the irs budget, and i have called for its abolition, because i support a fair tax, which is a consumption tax. i think the tax system we have is not just a matter of the raid been screwed up. i think the real issue is the fundamental principle behind the manner in which we tax is itself screwed up. you should not penalize productivity, income, works, savings, investment, because those are the things that to build a healthy economy. you should want people to work and work harder. you should want people to take risks with their capital that might create business or a jobs. one person has any state that is developed, and you punish them for, if that is counter- intuitive.
when china can send a table and that it builds into this country and it does not have any indicted tax because they are happy to send it here, but a table made in north carolina will have 22% in betted tax for all the things they have to pay in order to get that table to the marketplace, it should not be a big shock that that product is coined to be able to be manufactured less expensively, not just because of labor, or not because you have a government that looks the other way, or is willing to steal intellectual property rights, and makes or not -- all sorts of concessions to the environment to get there, but because our own country is punishing those in this country who would manufacture. so, that is why i am then unapologetic and strong advocate of the fair tax, which would put us in a position where we tax consumption. the beautiful thing is that it
does not tax the poor of the basic necessity, because of the predate. >> two more questions. [unintelligible] >> i do not see it unfold in a doctor that is why we need new leadership. -- unfolding at all. that is why we need new leadership. >> can you talk about the internal struggle going on within the republican party, where you come down on that, and how that might affect your decision to run? i'm talking about the social conservatives and libertarians. >> i do not think it is as big a conflict as some people see it to be. i try to make the point that there is not a conflict between social and fiscal conservatives. all the social conservatives i know are fiscal conservatives. there are some people that are fiscal conservatives who might not have much use for the social
issues like sanctity of life, marriage, it's every -- etc., but overwhelmingly, even among the tea party, most tend to be social conservative. it is a compatibility that i think is consistent. there is a perception that i do not necessarily find accurate they you have to be one or the other. i think a person can be both, then most of us are both fiscally conservative and socially conservative as well. >> one more. >> wow. you already asked one. let me see if i can get somebody who has not. >> ok. i guess. >> if you do get in the race, let you think your toughest opponent will be? >> -- who do you think your
toughest opponent will be. >> toughest opponent? barack obama. clearly, that is the goal. i do not see the other republicans as being enemies, or opponents, or as much as i do as people that would like to see the same our opportunity to challenge obama. republicans have an understanding that there is no value in attacking each other up in the primary because all it does is making it more difficult. all we need to do is show the contrast between ourselves and barack obama and where he is taking the country, and not so much the differences between each of us. we will staples positions, and i think the voters are smart enough to figure out -- we will state those positions, and i think the voters are smart enough to figure out where we stand.
>> how will the president to run against? >> he will be tossed. i made comments last week -- i think he will be tough. i made comments last week that said -- that were interpreted to mean that he cannot be beaten. i think he will be beaten. there is an all-out brawl map that has shifted states like virginia and -- there is an electoral map that has shifted. states like virginia turned the math completely. having said that, i'm just reading that when republicans acting giddy and start measuring the and trips for the family quarters, i just want to remind them that this guy will be sitting on $1 billion, he is the incumbent president, and while the republicans are battling it out in a protracted primary, this is going to go on
for awhile. the calendar has been stretched dramatically from where it was four years ago, and the second one is that states that were winner-takes-all are now proportionate. no one will be able to sweep up all the delegates in the first few. the mechanics will be dramatically different of all of the people that say you are getting a late start, i say let me ask you how many other candidates have announced. when he said nobody, i said "who is late?" why would we jump in? there is a finite amount of money that will be in the republican primary. if eight people run, or 15 people run, if you need to start splitting them up. if your campaign will be a 12-
month in denver, that is different than an 18-month endeavor. bill clinton did not announce his candidacy until october of 1991 and he defeated an incumbent president one year later. the calendar is something upon this create, but the candidates are the ones than need to create because they are the ones that get to live with that and funded. with that, i see about saying "we have to go caracol thank you very -- if we have to go caracol -- we have to go to your ." thank you very much. [laughter] [applause]
>> this weekend, governors will talk about how to grow their state's economy, education, and tiber's security as the gather in washington for the annual winter meeting of the governor'' association. we will have live coverage to route the weekend on c-span. >> this weekend on book-tv on c- span 2, the former chief of the unit osama bin laden bus un's on his continuing movement against united states agreed we explore the health industry. look for the complete schedule at book-tv.org. >>